24 October 2010

Homily for Trinity 21 & Stewardship Sunday

Never would I consider myself a "stewardship expert," but it was an honor and a joy to preach this morning for Zion Lutheran Church, Edwardsville, IL, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Worden, IL, on the topic of stewardship. Pr. Heath Curtis graciously invited me to preach the Word of God on stewardship and tithing on the occasion of his congregations' "Consecration Sunday" - and using the lectionary readings for Trinity 21.

So utilizing today's readings - Genesis 1:1-2:3; Ephesians 6:11-17; and John 4:46-54 - the homily was titled "Enlivened to Live as Givers," and focused on our gracious God creating us in and restoring us to His image so that we may live all of life as givers.

To listen to the audio file, click on this link and download the file.

And on a related note, I am very intrigued by the program that Pr. Curtis uses, "Consecration Sunday," written by Herb Miller. I want to examine it myself. (Check it out here at the Cokesbury website or here at Amazon.com. The Southern District of the LCMS offers a PDF file adapting the use of Miller's education program.)

It's quite encouraging to hear lay leaders sing its praises and tell how it has turned their congregation around. One gentleman said it's "just so positive," as opposed to the stewardship programs that seem to beat folks over the head with the Bible's teaching on tithing and giving. The financial secretary rejoiced that it's made her job "much easier" because they can actually pay the bills without having to worry or borrow. Now that's high praise!

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